Cardiff crowds gather to see Queen visit assembly

The Royal car arrives at the Senedd ahead of the opening
Image caption The Royal car arrives at the Senedd ahead of the opening

Children cheered and waved Welsh flags as the Queen visited Cardiff for the opening of the fourth session of the national assembly for Wales.

Hundreds of people lined the steps of the Senedd in Cardiff Bay to watch First Minister Carwyn Jones and Presiding Officer Rosemary Butler greet the Royal party.

Elegant in a turquoise suit, the Queen was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh and by Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall.

After a rendition of the Welsh national anthem, four Hawk jets from 208(R) squadron RAF Valley on Angelsey in Gwynedd performed a fly-past before the Royal party entered the Senedd.

'Never seen the Queen before'

Fanfares at the Senedd were performed by brass and percussion students from the Royal College of Music and Drama.

The Queen was presented with flowers by teenagers Chloe Wilson and Dafydd Carter.

Members of the Cory Cwm choir, the 13-year-olds, from Porth in the Rhondda Valley, said: "She was asking us about the song we were singing and what it was about.

Image caption The Queen leaving the Wales Millennium Centre

"She was really pleased with our singing. It was nice to meet her as you see her so much on TV and so many people do not ever get to meet her and we get to at 13."

Civil engineer Rhiannon Williams, 25, from Pontypridd, said she had come to visit Cardiff Bay because she had "never seen the Queen before", although she felt there were "pros and cons" to the Royal family.

However, Joline Watts, 34, from Cardiff, said she was disappointed four Plaid Cymru assembly members had decided to stay away from the Royal visit.

Four Plaid Cymru AMs who said they would not be attending included Leanne Wood, for South Wales Central, Bethan Jenkins who represents South Wales West and Lindsay Whittle for South Wales East.

"They're showing Wales in a very, very poor light," said Ms Watts. "We are still part of the UK."

She added it was "nice to see" the Queen visiting Cardiff but added: "I'm more interested in Wales getting our rights back."

Following the ceremony, the Queen was then due to eat a lunch of Welsh lamb at the nearby Wales Millennium Centre.

The reception was being used to showcase new and established Welsh talent, including choir Only Men Aloud.

More on this story